Farons and Firepots
Srinagar Travel Blog› entry 28 of 41 › view all entries
After settling in, Chris and I lounged on the Erin dock while Ali served a ceramic pot of tea on a silver tray. He cooked for Rehman and Rehman's young daughter, ran errands, and performed cleaning and maintenance duties. Rehman referred to him as 'the boy' but always called him by name. In his late teens, Ali was from a small village in the snow-covered mountains near Gulmarg, some thirty miles to the west. Like most Kashmiris, he was of Pakistani descent.
Being the only foreigners - or guests - on the entire lake, numerous merchants approached our dock looking to sell everything from common groceries to water chestnuts.
The faron would not be complete without a Kashmiri fire-pot so we paddled the shikhara to Factasoon's waterfront market to purchase those. That red clay cauldron was contained in a wicker basket which had two handles allowing easy passage from one hand to the other if the coals became too hot. Carrying it under our farons, we could feel heat coming out from around our necks. In a sitting position, the fire-pot would be placed between the feet, eliminating the need to heat our entire hut. Our farons included cotton liners which could be worn alone in warmer months.